Keylor in The Boston Herald on Tillerson, Xi Meeting


William Keylor, Professor of International Relations and History at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, was recently interviewed on the first meeting between United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Keylor discusses comments made by Tillerson that a preemptive strike against North Korean nuclear facilities is on the table for the United States. 

Keylor was interviewed for a March 19, 2017 article in The Boston Herald entitled “Rex Tillerson, China Turn Up Heat on N. Korea.”

From the text of the article:

In recent days, Tillerson stressed that “all options are on the table” with North Korea, including pre-emptive military strikes — a shocking public position that could have been aimed at convincing China to pressure its ally into compliance, Boston University international relations professor William Keylor said.

“The pressure on China is the key here,” Keylor said. “If the Chinese are ever brought to believe the U.S. has not ruled out the option of a pre-emptive military strike against the North Korea facilities, then that might pressure the Chinese into really going after North Korea and saying, ‘You got to stop this.’ ”

Aside from the regional chaos it would unleash and the unpredictable response it would provoke from Un, an attack could unleash waves of refugees across China’s northern border, and the ultimate fall of the North Korean regime could result in a unified Korea, putting a major U.S. ally across that same border, Keylor said.

The U.S. has limited leverage with China, the country holding the second-most U.S. debt after Japan. The ‘One China’ policy could come into play, Keylor predicted.

“The one bit of leverage they have over China is the link to Taiwan,” he said. “By playing around with the idea of a ‘Two China’ policy, that is absolutely anathema to Beijing.”

You can read the entire article here.

Keylor served four consecutive terms as Chairman of the Department of History at Boston University (1988-2000) and has been Director of the International History Institute since 1999. At Boston University, he has received the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Methodist Scholar-Teacher Award. Learn more about him here.